I respect everything you are saying. But I don't get why people say this? Shogun was a 2 to 1 favorite vs. Dan. Yea, after the fight people said he wasn't the same...because Hendo put it on him like no one ever had. You can't be fast and fresh when you get a handful of H-Bombs in the first round.
People are saying Machida is so improved...why? Because he KO'd Bader and 50 year old Couture? Taylor-Made opponents? And had 1 decent round vs. Bones? That means he is so improved? I myself wouldn't go that far. Maybe he is, but beating Randy at that stage and Bader at any stage doesn't prove much to me.
When Dan beat Fedor...Fedor was washed up even though he was like a 2.5-1 favorite over him and most people here gave Dan little chance. When Dan fought Shogun, maybe not you, but most here said Shogun is just better, more well-rounded, good chin. He should win. After, Shogun all of a sudden was considered slow and washed up.
If Hendo H-Bombs Machida will people say Machida is over the hill? It would go in line with what has happened before. I think Machida should be the favorite. But for people to write off Hendo is laughable too me. People don't learn their lessons.
If Hendo beats Machida people will act like Dan is such a beast after. Then when his next fight rolls around they will write him off again...
Shogun is still a terrific fighter, but since Machida 2 he has looked noticeably different to me. Every fight since, even the ones that he has won, he just looks slower, like he doesn't still have the same spring in his step. He also tires quicker as well. He's still a great fighter, but he has definitely turned into more of a wild brawler/slugger in recent, drawing the opponent into crazy slug fests to try and make up for his decrease in speed and snap.
On the other hand, Machida has not slowed down in speed or explosiveness at all. In fact, in his last two fights he looked leaner and in even better shape. He has not been decayed by injuries as of yet, and he has the added experience gleaned from a couple of losses. That old chestnut of you learn far more by losing than winning. All together, I'd say Machida is at least at the same highest level he has ever been, if not slightly better for some lessons learned. He has not reached the descent period of his career quite yet.
I've never subscribed to the notion that fighters suddenly become shit overnight after a couple of losses, or that they've suddenly 'lost it', only to become amazing again after one win or two. People's opinions on fighters go up and down like yo yo's on this forum - Machida being a great example. From the 'Machida Era', to the 'Machida is going to be/should be cut era', to the 'Machida is back era' etc etc
The reality is that he was always roughly at the same level, with a couple of ups and downs along the way.
Supporting - Machida, Edgar, Mitrione, Pickett, Cruickshank, Wiman, Lauzon, Falcao, Belcher, Korean Zombie, Palhares, Hendricks
Retirees - Lytle, BJ Penn, Hackney,